Community Response Team Update 5/1/23

Mark Switzer • May 19, 2023

Community Response Team Newsletter
Public Health & Emergency Preparedness Updates
May 1, 2023


Dear Community,

With sunny skies returning last week, blooming flowers, and an explosion of growth in our vegetation, springtime brings a different set of risks to think about. Mitigating the risks of wildfires by reducing the fuel load in our vegetation should be up there in people's minds. Fortunately, Chipper Days will be returning to West Marin! They have a new pick-up schedule, with more events to make it even easier to dispose of your hazardous vegetation and debris. Learn more about their 2023 season here. Also, the 2nd annual Ember Stomp Festival, which is all about wildfire prevention and mitigation, will be happening at the Marin Fairgrounds, May 20.

Are you concerned about sea level and use Stinson Beach? The Marin Community Development Agency is looking for focus group participants to understand how sea level rise can impact underserved populations who visit Stinson Beach. Learn more on how to take part in English and Spanish.

News in the COVID-related realm, another bivalent booster has been authorized for those over the age of 65 or for those at high risk of severe illness. Learn more about who should consider this booster below, in Dr. Matt Willis' most recent public health update. As the virus continues to mutate, the new XBB.1.16 is becoming an emergent variant that carries a higher risk of conjunctivitis, or "pink eye". So consider the possibility of a COVID infection if you find yourself with an eye infection.

We still seem to be hovering at a medium level of the community transmission rate. As the impact of COVID has lessened and is shifting to more of an endemic situation, let's not forget that it can still have a severe impact on those with high-risk factors. In fact, it is still the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States and the State of California.

I am happy to say that we have more tools available in West Marin for another major public health threat, which is opioid overdoses.  Narcan, which is a medication that can immediately counteract a fentanyl-related overdose, is now more widely available through our West Marin Community Response team and our local West Marin Multi-Service Center. Please see below for more information on Narcan and how to get access to them.

The 90 minute Lifesaving Skills course is coming back to West Marin this month! The course includes learning hands-only CPR, using an AED, stopping a bleed and learning to use a Narcan. This class will be held at the Lagunitas Elementary School, May 31, from 5 - 7:30 PM. More information on how to register here and also below.

Lastly, the Ritter Center and SPAHR will be once again making their way to West Marin to offer free to low-cost medical services for those under or uninsured. You can see their list of services here and here for Spanish. Please see the dates of their visits to West Marin below.

Take care and stay safe,
The West Marin Community Response Team

This week the FDA authorized a second COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine for those at highest risk and retired the original monovalent vaccine. Public Health Officer, Dr. Matt Willis discusses the factors to consider for those newly eligible for a second bivalent shot.

Chipper Days Has Returned for the 2023 Season

To assist Marin County residents with their defensible space efforts, the Chipper Day Program offers free curbside pickup and disposal of excess vegetation from residential properties.

Chipper Days will be coming out to West Marin on multiple weeks this season. Please see the 2023 calendar here and use this link Chipping and pick-up to register and answer your questions.
Ember Stomp invites residents to learn their role in being part of a fire-adapted community and how we can all prepare for wildfire. This year offers a bigger space with new music, entertainment, exhibits, vendors and a live burn demonstration. This FREE event is fun for the whole family.
The Facts on Narcan

What is it?

Naloxone (Narcan) is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose.

How is Narcan Given?
Naloxone should be given to any person who shows signs of an opioid overdose or when an overdose is suspected and can be given as a nasal spray.

Are there side effects? What if it is administered wrong?
Naloxone has no effect on someone who does not have opioids in their system. Side effects from naloxone are rare, but people might have allergic reactions to the medicine. Overall, naloxone is a safe medicine. But it only reverses an overdose in people with opioids in their systems.

Learn more about Narcan in English and Spanish

How to access free Narcan in West Marin

Contact Seamus Tomkins at (415) 663 8361 extension 302 or at

Point Reyes Health and Human Services
1 6th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Monday - Friday 9 AM - 5 PM

Marin Lifesaving Skills Training

Marin Health and Human Services presents a 90 minute class to learn:
  • Hands only CPR
  • Automated External Defibrillator
  • Stop the Bleed
  • Narcan
Check out upcoming classes in Marin County here

Upcoming Classes in West Marin
The Lagunitas Elementary School Gym
1 Lagunitas Road
May 31, 5:30 - 7 PM
For more information and to register visit here
Understanding Marin County COVID Levels

Current Marin COVID Level: MEDIUM

Marin County Wastewater and Hospitalizations Combines Equals "Marin COVID Levels"

When the COVID-19 Community Level is Medium or High:

  • If you are at high risk of getting very sick, wear a high-quality mask or respirator (e.g., N95) when indoors in public
  • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for getting very sick, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact, and consider wearing a high-quality mask when indoors with them

Yellow- and orange-colored rectangles indicating medium and high COVID-19 Community Levels

Have Questions about the End of the State and Federal Public Health Emergencies and What's Changing?

Frequently asked questions and answers can be found in English and Spanish

Where to get a COVID Vaccination in Marin

In English and Spanish

Free Take-Home COVID Rapid Testing
West Marin Locations 

If you are symptomatic please test and retest 2-3 days after symptoms start. This is important since the initial test can sometimes be negative, then turn positive in the coming days.

West Marin Community Services and San Geronimo Valley Community Center distribute tests and masks to local organizations. If you are a business in need of tests or masks, please get in touch with Seamus Tomkins at 415-663-8361 ext. 302

Steps to take if you test positive for COVID 19

There are safe and effective treatments for COVID 19 and they work best when started early. Seek treatment even if your symptoms are mild. Learn more in English and Spanish

Ritter Medical Outreach Team & SPAHR

The Ritter Center's Mobile Medical Care and the SPAHR team will have a few visits in West Marin this month. Learn more about their services in English and Spanish.

West Marin Community Services
11431 Hwy 1 (Mesa Rd. side of the building)
Point Reyes Station CA 94956
May 4
1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Bolinas Community Center
14 Wharf Rd
Bolinas CA 94924
May 11
10:00 AM - 3:30 PM

For more local information on COVID, Medical Providers, Disaster Councils and Disaster Preparation, See our Quick Links page

Copyright © 2023 Community Response Team (West Marin) c/o West Marin Community Services, All rights reserved.